Syfy greenlights an eight episode order for Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge (working title), a competition series featuring ten aspiring creature creators competing to out-imagine one another in a series of challenges where they will build everything from mechanical characters to whimsical beasts, bringing high-end inanimate creature designs to life. The contestants compete for $100,000 and the opportunity for the job of a lifetime – a contract working at the world-renowned Jim Henson’s Creature Shop™. The announcement was made today by Mark Stern, President of Original Content, Syfy.
Brian Henson serves as lead judge on the series. Henson is the Chairman of The Jim Henson Company and the Creature Shop. An award-winning writer, director and producer, he is also a creature designer and performer taught by the master, his father Jim Henson. His long resume in movies and television includes iconic roles like Hoggle in the fantasy classic Labyrinth and the dog in the groundbreaking anthology series The Storyteller. Henson has also produced and directed such television projects as Farscape, Muppets Tonight and Dinosaurs. His film directing credits include The Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island. Henson was part of the team that first created and utilized the Henson Performance Control System, a powerful custom-based interface for puppeteers, which won an Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (Scientific and Engineering) Award in 1992. He also led the Shop’s work in creating the revolutionary digital puppeteering technology, the Emmy Award-winning Henson Digital Puppetry Studio.
“As Face Off does with SFX makeup application, Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge showcases the incredible imagination and artistry of lifelike creature construction,” said Stern. “We are honored to partner with The Jim Henson Company and Brian Henson on this series. The Creature Shop has set the bar for a caliber of work that is unmatched in quality, design and sheer imagination.”
Omnilab Media and The Jim Henson Co. announced a sequel (PDF) to the 1982 cult classic The Dark Crystal entitled The Power Of The Dark Crystal, and like the original will blend live action and visual effects, but this time will also incorporate 3D. Peter Spierig and Michael Spierig (Daybreakers, Undead) will direct from a screenplay written by Craig Pearce (Moulin Rouge).